By User:Yskyflyer (own work (2 feet from my computer, On my Desk)) [CC-BY-SA-2.5 (], via Wikimedia Commons

By User:Yskyflyer (own work (2 feet from my computer, On my Desk)) [CC-BY-SA-2.5 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Let’s face it, being a leader is tough even in the best of circumstances.  The saying goes “If it was easy, everyone would be doing it!” The truth is, everyone CAN be a leader and there are ways you can prepare yourself to make it a little easier. Before you even start your first day leading a team, you should develop your personal leadership philosophy. Engaging in a little self-reflection before you take the reins will help you deal effectively and consistently with situations as they occur. It also provides a foundation to start from when the unexpected happens.

So you’ve decided developing your own personal leadership philosophy is a great idea and you’re asking “How do I get started?”  Here are some things you can think about to get started today. I suggest writing the answers down and reviewing them in a few months to see if your perspective has changed. Each of these items could be a blog post on their own (and probably will be in the future), but for now, just write down your initial thoughts on each of these questions:

  1. What are your priorities as a leader and how do they rank in relation to each other? For example, is producing a perfect product more important to you than putting it out exactly on time? When everything is going well, you may not have to choose between priorities, but which do you choose when circumstances dictate you can’t have both?
  2. How will you communicate these priorities to your team?
  3. How will you interact with people? Are you open to being approached informally by team members? Do you prefer setting up an appointment?
  4. How will you develop key skills in your team and prepare them for increased responsibility? How will you set them on a career development path?
  5. How will you recognize your superior performers? How will you deal with an under-performer?
  6. What are your positions on unique situations like working from home, time off for little league games or other family events?
  7. Finally, what actions can you take to ensure your decisions and direction is consistent with the answers to the questions above?

Don’t feel boxed in by what you decide here today!  You’re not making every decision for the future right now, you’re just thinking through a framework to understand your own leadership style before you’re faced with a big decision. Over time you will definitely learn and grow and it’s valid to re-assess your personal leadership philosophy based on the experience you gain from success and from making mistakes. As a leader, you’ll have plenty of both!

If you’re willing to share, post your answers in the comments below. What other questions are you asking yourself as you develop your personal leadership philosophy?

  • Reply

    Lilian Druve & Peter Loong

    31 10 2013

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply


      12 11 2013

      Thanks for reading and commenting! Would love to hear your thoughts!

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